New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has recalled a slate of first-choice names to the All Blacks team to face Wales on Saturday, demanding "high intensity" for the tussle in Cardiff.

There are just three changes from the side that beat Australia in Auckland nearly six weeks ago, but the visitors make more wholesale swaps from the side that edged Japan 38-31 last weekend.

Aaron Smith will line up for his 113th Test, to become the All Blacks' most capped back, moving ahead of Dan Carter, while Sam Whitelock will get his first run as captain following Sam Cane's tour-ending injury.

Beauden and Jordie Barrett return to the side, joining brother Scott, with Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor and Tyrel Lomax forming the front row.

There is no Brodie Retallick, however, following his red card in New Zealand's victory over the Brave Blossoms.

Foster said: "Playing Wales on the road always represents an exciting challenge. We have a number of players returning to the side and we know we will need to play with a high intensity against this physical Welsh team.

"Last year the roof at Principality Stadium was open due to COVID regulations but this time it will be closed. It will ensure an amazing atmosphere for fans and players."  

Wayne Pivac's hosts welcome back Leigh Halfpenny after a year-plus absence through injury, while Dragons winger Rio Dyer is handed a surprise debut.

New captain Justin Tipuric also comes into the side following his own lay-off, as does winger Ken Owens, while Will Rowlands and Adam Beard form the second row.

It means Alun Wyn Jones, the world's most capped player, is among the replacements as he looks to stretch his own record of 165 matches.

Pivac is backing newcomer Dyer to make an instant impact.

"Rio has fitted in really well and really quickly. He's thriving in this environment," Pivac said. "He's a young man that's bringing some form with him into camp.

"He scored some great tries and he's full of confidence. That means a lot to a young guy playing his first Test match in front of a big crowd. There's no better way to start your career, so we wish him well."

Wales team: Halfpenny, Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Dyer, Anscombe, Williams; Thomas, Owens, Francis, Rowlands, Beard, Tipuric, Reffell, Faletau.

Replacements: Elias, Smith, Lewis, Wyn Jones, Tshiunza, Hardy, Priestland, Watkin.

New Zealand team: B Barrett, Reece, R Ioane, J Barrett, Clarke, Mo'unga, Smith; De Groot, Taylor, Lomax, Whitelock, S Barrett, Frizell, Papali'i, Savea.

Replacements: Taukei'aho, Tu'ungafasi, Newell, Vaa'i, A Ioane, Weber, Havili, Lienert-Brown.

Australia and New Zealand could field a combined ANZAC team against the British and Irish Lions in 2025, with talks ongoing between the two national governing bodies.

The Wallabies are set to welcome the Lions for a three-game tour for the first time since 2013, when the visitors won an enthralling series 2-1.

But the prospect of the hosts linking up with the All Blacks for an additional encounter could yet be on the table following preliminary discussions.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan says discussions have started with counterparts at New Zealand Rugby, with provisional hopes to stage the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"We've talked to the Kiwis about hosting an ANZAC team against the Lions in 2025, and they're considering the idea," he told the Daily Mail.

"I'm in no doubt it would be a belter, and we'd sell the MCG out with 100,000 fans. The best of the Wallabies and the All Blacks against the Lions would create enormous global coverage."

The prospect of the Lions facing an ANZAC XV would not be unprecedented, with the tourists previously facing a combined team in the final game of their 1989 tour in Brisbane.

Brodie Retallick has been banned for New Zealand's upcoming Tests against Wales and Scotland, but he is in contention to return against England.

The lock was dismissed for a dangerous clean-out on Kazuki Himeno in the second half of Saturday's 38-31 victory over Japan in Tokyo.

Speaking after that match, New Zealand head coach Ian Foster confirmed his side would look at contesting the red card.

An independent judicial committee handed Retallick a three-game ban on Tuesday, though that will be reduced by one game if he completes a coaching intervention programme.

The 31-year-old will therefore play no part against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday or Scotland in Edinburgh the following week, but he will be eligible to face England on November 19.

New Zealand, who retained their Rugby Championship title in September, have already lost hooker Dane Coles and skipper Sam Cane through injury against Japan.

Sam Whitelock will take over as captain after recovering from an inner ear problem.

Jos Buttler feels England are in a "a really good place" after they kept their T20 World Cup fate in their own hands with a 20-run win over New Zealand.

England really needed a victory at the Gabba on Tuesday to stay in the hunt for a semi-final place and they rose to the occasion, with Buttler leading by example.

The captain top scored with 73 from 47 balls, becoming England's highest T20I run-scorer in his 100th match for his country in the shortest format after being dropped by Kane Williamson on eight and Daryl Mitchell when he had 40 to his name.

Buttler and Alex Hales (52 off 40) set England on their way to posting 179-6 in Brisbane and Group 1 leaders New Zealand fell short on 159-6 in reply.

The in-form Glenn Phillips (62 from 36) and captain Kane Williamson, who scored a run-a-ball 40, had given the Black Caps a good chance of sealing their place in the last four with a third-wicket stand of 91.

England were able to move up to second above Australia and Sri Lanka with a victory due to have a superior net run-rate, though, with Sam Curran (2-26) and Chris Woakes (2-33) the pick of the bowlers 

A win over Sri Lanka at the SCG on Saturday should be enough for England to qualify, although third-placed Australia could significantly improve their net run-rate when they take on Afghanistan on Friday.

Wicketkeeper-batter Buttler said: "I think it's a big relief to be heading to that last game knowing we have a chance at progressing.

"So, yeah, we go there really excited. I think the team is in a really good place after tonight. It showed great character in a must-win match.

"We'll head to Sydney full of confidence and expecting a really tough game against Sri Lanka.

"There is a little bit of a benefit obviously playing that last game to know exactly what is required of us."

Captain Williamson doffed his cap to England after a first defeat of the tournament for New Zealand, who will be expected to seal a semi-final berth when they play Ireland in Adelaide on Friday.

"Credit to the way England played, they played beautifully, put us under pressure from the get-go and were clinical. It was a slightly above-par total," said the batter.

"We tried to take it deep, but credit to the way they bowled. It was a fair surface, we were in it in the second half but needed a few things to go our way. We tried to target certain areas of the ground and take it deep."

Jos Buttler made a blistering half-century in his 100th game for England in the shortest format as they beat New Zealand by 20 runs to stay in the hunt for a T20 World Cup semi-final spot.

Knowing his side needed a victory at the Gabba to have a realistic chance of qualifying from Group 1, Buttler top scored with 73 off 47 balls to become his country's leading T20I run-scorer, with Alex Hales (52 from 40) also making a half-century in England's 179-6.

The England captain was dropped by Kane Williamson on eight and Daryl Mitchell when he had 40 to his name, with his team on course for 200 before a flurry of late wickets, including the brilliant Buttler being run out when he was in full flow as the Black Caps clawed it back.

New Zealand were in trouble on 28-2 after losing Devon Conway and Finn Allen, but Glenn Phillips and Williamson swung the game in their favour with a third-wicket stand of 91.

Moeen Ali dropped a simple chance to get rid of the powerful Phillips, in great touch after a brutal century against Sri Lanka, for 15 but Ben Stokes had Williamson (40) caught by Adil Rashid at short third man for a much-needed breakthrough.

Phillips was dismissed by the excellent Sam Curran (2-26) as England took the upper hand and Chris Woakes (2-33) was also outstanding to restrict the Black Caps to 159-6, sealing a victory that moved England second in Group 1 ahead of Australia with one game to play against Sri Lanka and level on points with leaders New Zealand, who face Ireland on Friday.

 

Buttler serves up a treat

Buttler capitalised on being given two lives to move beyond Eoin Morgan's tally of 2,458, taking his haul to 2,468 with a masterful 18th T20I half-century.

He struck two sixes and seven fours, showing a combination of sheer power and finesse to lead by example at the top of the order along with Hales.

Buttler then took a magnificent diving catch for Woakes to dismiss Conway, rising to the occasion in a must-win landmark game for the skipper.

In-form Curran steps up again

Curran has been outstanding for England in Australia, starring in a pre-tournament series success over the hosts and maintaining his fine form when it matters most.

He struck a six late in England's innings and then bowled four tight overs without conceding a boundary, also claiming the wickets of Allen and the big scalp of Phillips.

Curran also took an important catch in the deep to see the back of the dangerous Neesham as England claimed a measure of revenge for their T20 World Cup semi-final defeat to the Black Caps last year.

Sam Whitelock has taken over as New Zealand captain for the tour of Europe after Sam Cane was ruled out.

Cane returned home after suffering two cheekbone fractures in a 38-31 win over Japan at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday.

Whitelock will lead the All Blacks when they face Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, Scotland at Murrayfield and England at Twickenham.

The lock did not feature against the Brave Blossoms last weekend due to an inner ear problem.

All Blacks forwards coach Jason Ryan says it was an easy decision to pick Whitelock as stand-in skipper.

"Really experienced, really respected in the group," Ryan said. "It was pretty straightforward, and really well supported by the vice-captains.

"He has (played) 100-plus test matches, so he's experienced a lot. He's the right man for the job."

Vice-captain Ardie Savea had no issue with being overlooked.

He said: "Regardless of if I was skip or vice, my role doesn't change in terms of how I lead in this team.

"I am just happy to be in the team, and if I do get a chance this week, just grateful to put on the jersey.

"I am stoked that we have Sammy taking control of the side and he will have myself and Baz (Beauden Barrett) right behind him, beside him."

Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan will captain India's T20I and ODI squads respectively on their November tour of New Zealand after Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were rested.

Hardik will lead India when they begin their tour of New Zealand with the first of three T20Is in Wellington on November 18 – just five days after the T20 World Cup in Australia ends.

One week later, they begin a three-match one-day series at Eden Park in Auckland, in which Dhawan – who led India on a tour of the West Indies earlier this year – will take the captaincy.

Rohit, Kohli and Rahul will all miss the trip to New Zealand, but as many as eight other players currently in Australia for the World Cup will be in attendance.

Hardik, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh have all been selected for the T20I series, with Pant named vice-captain for the entire tour.

There was no place in either squad for Jasprit Bumrah or Ravindra Jadeja, however, after the duo were forced to miss the World Cup through injury.

Ben Stokes has been backed to deliver for England as they face a huge T20 World Cup match against New Zealand on Tuesday.

England are down in third in Group 1 with two games to play, dropping below Australia following their defeat of Ireland on Monday.

Jos Buttler's side cannot afford to slip up against the Black Caps, but assistant coach Paul Collingwood believes this to be the sort of scenario in which superstar Stokes thrives.

The Test captain averages just 18.57 in the shortest format and has never hit a T20I fifty, yet Collingwood has no doubt about his ability in "must-win games".

"The one person you want in your team when the pressure is on is Ben Stokes," Collingwood said.

"We all know what he's capable of, and not just match-winning innings, but match-winning innings under serious amounts of pressure.

"If it comes down to the crunch, you want a man like Ben Stokes walking out.

"It's not just what he gives with the bat – the options with the ball and the skill level he brings into the field as well. It's not always just the runs that he makes, but it's everything else that he gives.

"But I'm pretty confident there's an innings just around the corner, and now we're coming into the crucial part of the World Cup, it's almost a knockout stage for us.

"It's must-win games. You always see Ben come to the fore in those situations."

Opponents New Zealand are in a healthier position after two wins from their two completed matches, leading the standings.

But fast bowler Lockie Ferguson knows his team cannot afford complacency as they prepare to face England.

"There's a long way to go for us, and we need to make sure we take it game by game," he said.

"England's going to have a lot of firepower for us that we need to combat in this next game. I'm sure the boys will be up for the next challenge.

"[I expect] what you always expect from England. They come out very hot, they pride themselves on that aggressive nature, and they bat very deep.

"We need to come out with our own brand of aggressive play, but that's not to say it's anything different to what we have done."

Captain Sam Cane and hooker Dane Coles have been ruled out of New Zealand's tour of Europe.

Flanker Cane suffered two cheekbone fractures in a 38-31 win over Japan at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday.

The vastly experienced Coles missed that victory after suffering a calf injury prior to kick-off and he will return home along with Cane.

Billy Harmon has been called up to the squad ahead of a Test against Wales at the Principality Stadium next Saturday.

Wing Leicester Fainga'anuku will also join up with the All Blacks for that Test in Cardiff after leaving the squad in Japan for family reasons.

The Rugby Championship winners will face Scotland and England next month after doing battle with Wayne Pivac's side.

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster said: "It will create a great opportunity for the likes of a Dalton Papali'i and he's in good form. It's the reality of rugby, you always want to get through your first couple of games injury free.

"It hasn't worked out this way, and it doesn't change the challenges coming up."

The All Blacks will appeal against Brodie Retallick's red card for a clean-out on loose forward Kazuki Himeno in the 65th minute of the win over the Brave Blossoms, with a hearing likely to take place on Tuesday.

Glenn Phillips made a scintillating century and Trent Boult ripped through Sri Lanka as New Zealand took a big stride towards the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 65-run win.

The Black Caps were in big trouble on 15-3 after losing Finn Allen, Devon Conway and Kane Williamson in the first four overs, but Phillips (104 off 64 balls) came to the rescue with his second T20I hundred.

Phillips took advantage of being dropped on 12 and 45, putting on a show at the SCG on Saturday to get the Group 1 leaders up to 167-7, the fit-again Daryl Mitchell (22) providing support in a fourth-wicket stand of 84. 

Sri Lanka were sloppy in the field and never looked like being successful with a run chase that ended when they were bowled out for only 102 in the final over.

Left-arm seamer Boult claimed his best T20I figures of 4-13 after the excellent Tim Southee (1-12) trapped Pathum Nissanka leg before in the first over.

Sri Lanka were reduced to 8-4 and did not look like reaching three figures at 65-8 before Bhanuka Rajapaksa (34) and captain Dasun Shanaka (35) showed some resistance.

Spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi both claimed figures of 2-21 as New Zealand moved two points clear at the top of the group with two games to play, with Sri Lanka down in fifth place.

Phillips punishes sloppy Sri Lanka

Phillips struck four sixes and found the rope 10 times in a magnificent innings, but it could have been a very different story.

Nissanka spilled a simple chance to reduce the Black Caps to 29-4 when he put Phillips down early in his knock at long-off.

A diving Shanaka spurned a more tricky opportunity to remove Phillips before he reached his half-century and he made Sri Lanka pay, bringing up his stunning hundred off only 61 balls.

Lightning Boult strikes again

Boult has proven time and again he is one of the best bowlers in the world and he gave another demonstration in Sydney.

He had Kusal Mendis caught behind, then bowled Dhananjaya de Silva and got rid of Charith Asalanka in a devastating opening burst before returning to get Shanaka caught at deep square leg by Mitchell.

There were 18 dot balls from Boult and he conceded just the one boundary.

New Zealand could contest Brodie Retallick's red card in the win over Japan on Saturday as he faces the prospect of being banned for their tour of Europe.

The towering lock was dismissed for a dangerous clean-out on loose forward Kazuki Himeno in the 65th minute of the All Blacks' 38-31 victory.

New Zealand held on to avoid an upset, but they were far from convincing at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

The Rugby Championship winners will now travel to face Wales, Scotland and England next month, with a Test against Wayne Pivac's side first up at the Principality Stadium next Saturday.

Head coach Ian Foster says the All Blacks will consider whether to lodge an appeal in a bid to prevent Retallick from being ruled out of those encounters.

He said: "We're going to have a good look at it. I certainly didn't see any intention apart from trying to move a body. That's a process we’ll have to go through."

Retallick scored the first of five All Blacks tries, while 13 points came from the boot of Richie Mo'unga.

Foster was content with the way New Zealand dug in to see off the Brave Blossoms.

"I thought it was a day where we could have panicked a little bit," he said.

"But I thought they hung in there well and did what they needed to do at the right time."

Japan will now prepare to do battle with England at Twickenham on November 12 and head coach Jamie Joseph is relishing what he expects to be a bigger challenge.

He said: "The key for us really is to go to England now and replicate that performance against a better side."

Jahrome Hughes put on a show as New Zealand won Rugby League World Cup Group C by hammering Ireland 48-10 at Headingley on Friday.

Hughes scored two and set up three of the Kiwis' 10 tries as they ended the group stage with a perfect record and are expected to face Fiji at the quarter-final stage.

Slippery halfback Hughes, making his World Cup debut after recovering from a thigh strain, ghosted in for an opening solo try after Ed Chamberlain's penalty put Ireland in front and his pinpoint kick put one of a plate for Jordan Rapana.

Peta Hiku's quickfire double extended the Kiwis' advantage following a Louis Senior intercept try at the other end and Ronaldo Mulitalo's four-pointer made it 24-6 at half-time.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was perhaps lucky to avoid a red card for a high tackle on James Bentley late in that frantic first half.

New Zealand were not at their brilliant best, but Rapana and Hughes helped themselves to doubles, with James Fisher-Harris, Kenny Bromwich and Joseph Manu also crossing in the second half.

Senior pounced on a mistake to become the joint-leading try-scorer in the tournament with six as Ireland showed plenty of fight, but are on the brink of elimination with Lebanon poised to move into the last eight.

New Zealand and Afghanistan were washed out in their second game of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The two sides failed to even get onto the wicket after the bad weather that forced a premature end to England's DLS-assisted defeat to Ireland at the same venue stuck around.

With not even a single ball bowled, the two teams both receive a point, which moves New Zealand top outright in Group 1 and gets Afghanistan off the mark.

The former had thrashed hosts Australia in an 89-run rout on Saturday to start their tournament off, while the latter had been downed by England in a five-wicket loss the same day.

No result hands a lifeline in particular to England, who face Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka with just one win under their belt following their shock loss on Wednesday.

The Black Caps will next play Sri Lanka in Sydney, while Afghanistan will remain in Melbourne to face Ireland.

World champions South Africa will face New Zealand in a 2023 Rugby World Cup warm-up at Twickenham in August next year, two weeks before the tournament in France kicks off.

The pair will meet at England's national rugby union stadium for just the second time as teams begin to firm up their preparations for the tournament, with the Springboks also booking a clash against Wales a week prior.

Having faltered in the semi-finals to England at Japan 2019, the All Blacks will be out to chase a first world title since 2015, when they defeated rivals Australia - with their last Twickenham meeting with South Africa coming in the last four of that tournament.

"The Springboks and All Blacks share one of the greatest rivalries in rugby, and to face them at Twickenham will be an exciting experience for the players and our fans," said Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

"The match will take place shortly before we kick off our World Cup campaign, and both this encounter and the Test against Wales will be vital for us to measure ourselves before the competition and to put the final building in blocks in place so that we can enter the showpiece in the desired form."

South Africa will compete in Pool B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Tonga and Romania at next year's tournament, while New Zealand will fight it out in Pool A with hosts France alongside Italy, Uruguay and Namibia.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scored four tries as New Zealand hammered Jamaica 68-6 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup.

The rampant Kiwis scored 11 tries in a ruthless display in Hull on Saturday to ensure they will advance from Group C, while Ben Jones-Bishop made history by scoring the Reggae Warriors' first ever World Cup try.

Watene-Zelezniak had a hat-trick in the opening 19 minutes as World Cup debutants Jamaica were outclassed, the winger capitalising on slack defending.

Peta Hiku also touched down on the right 10 minutes in, with Marata Niukore slipping through to add the Kiwis' fifth try before debutant Sebastian Kris and Jeremy Marshall-King got in the act to give them a 34-0 half-time lead, Kieran Foran only able to convert three of the seven first-half scores.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Briton Nikora and Marshall-King added further tries as New Zealand continued to dominate.

Clinical wing Watene-Zelezniak touched down again and took his tally to 20 points with a couple of conversions before Brandon Smith helped himself to a double.

There was a special moment in the closing stages, when the experienced Jones-Bishop pounced on a loose ball to score in the 300th game of his career, putting his name in the history books.

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